WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Archived News

Hows and Whys of Soil Testing

October 29, 3—4PM, Large Conference Room@WSU-TFREC; live video to WSU Prosser and Yakima Valley CC

Dr. Joan Davenport will discuss soil testing, a tool to estimate nutrient availability over a single growing season. She will discuss the chemistry behind traditional soil testing, what a soil test does and does not tell you, and provide some information about other types of tests that are being promoted for use. Dr. Davenport will also discuss how soil moisture and water management influence nutrient availability as well as root system considerations.

Dr. Davenport's discussion can be viewed during the scheduled time at WSU-IAREC (Prosser) and at the Yakima Valley Community College - College of Nursing in room 111 of Sundquist Hall (map; pdf). It will also be available on-line after a later date.

This is the second in a series of educational opportunities focusing on soils in perennial fruit systems. A session on “Roots” is planned for the Wash. St. Hort. Assoc. meeting on Dec. 3, 2014, in Kennewick, and a more general workshop on “Building Soils for Better Crops” is planned for Dec. 10, 2014, in Moses Lake.(more; pdf...)

Soils in Orchards Educational Series

The first in a series of educational opportunities on "Soils in Orchards" will feature Dr. Dave Brown, WSU-Pullman. The seminar will be held 3 to 4 PM on Wednesday, August 13 here at the Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center in Wenatchee. Dr. Brown will be available afterwards to answer questions. The presentation will be available through this web site on a date soon after.

Dr. Del Ketchie, WSU-TFREC researcher

We just received the sad news that Del Ketchie, retired WSU-TFREC horticulturalist died on July 31. Dr. Ketchie was well known for his expertise on the cold-hardiness of fruit trees, and conducted pioneering work on preventive measures. In recent years, he was also involved in evaluating cultivars of red delicious apples and studying the causes of horticultural disorders.

Sunrise Field Day a success

Participants at the annual WSU Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day on August 7 had a great time (link to photo collection)

TFREC pomologist to be introduced at Field Day

Dr. Stefano Musacchi, new WSU Endowed Chair in tree fruit physiology and management, will headline the Fifth Annual Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day on August 7. Dr. Musacchi, a world-class scientist, joins TFREC from from the University of Bologna.

The main orchard tour from 5 to 6:30 pm will be followed by dinner. Other features of Field Day will include apple breeding updates, replant study evaluation, delivery of pesticides by an innovative solid set canopy system, and a review of crop load management. Workshops (beginning at 3pm; please RSVP) will be held on weed control and biological control. The Sunrise Research Orchard is located halfway between East Weneatchee and Quincy. Directions and additional information are available (pdf).

Spotted Wing Drosophila carry over through mild winter

WSU researchers continued to catch Spotted Wing Drosophila through this last winter. However, there is no indication yet what the populations will do during the pest season 2013. News will be logged on the SWD website.

Release of 'WA 38,' new apple cultivar

an eye-catching, large, dark red apple with a remarkably firm, crisp, and juicy texture that also stores well. The apple has outstanding eating quality, exceptional flavor, ample sweetness, and sufficient tartness to impart real character. Our feeling is that when it comes to the combination of taste, texture, and beauty, “WA 38” has no equal in today’s marketplace. Washington State University Research Foundation (WSURF), the licensing arm of WSU, desires to find an exclusive licensee to manage its commercialization (more...)

2013 Crop Protection Guide

The 2013 version of the Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits in Washington (WSU Extension EB0419) is now available in printed form from the WSU Extension Online Store or as HTML from the TFREC web site.

Growers approve $5 million investment

Cherry and stone fruit growers throughout the state have agreed to make a $5 million investment over the next eight years at WSU research and extension centers in Prosser and Wenatchee (more...)

Congrats to Gary Moulton on his retirement

On January 10, 2013 Gary A. Moulton was honored on his retirement from WSU Mount Vernon NWREC at a lunch celebrating his 30 years of service to agriculture in the Puget Sound. Over 60 well-wishers were on hand, including WSU Mount Vernon faculty and staff, representatives from fruit grower groups, home gardeners, nursery growers, and others who conveyed their thanks for his many years of work in tree fruit research and extension.

'Mr Peach' to join TFREC faculty Feb 1

In a farewell to Desmond R. Layne, who will be joining WSU February 1, the South Carolina Peach Council awarded Layne the title of “Mister Peach." Dr. Layne will occupy one of WSU’s newest endowed chairs. With funding from the state’s tree fruit industry, Dr. Layne will use TFREC in Wenatchee to reach out to the industry statewide as the leader of the tree fruit extension team.

Dr. Layne will be coming from Clemson University where he is an expert not only in extension information delivery, but also peach and pawpaw production.
His current activities include Everything About Peaches, a website for peach information.


Webinar: fire blight control without antibiotics

Dr. Ken Johnson of Oregon State University discusses the most current research related to control of fire blight without antibiotics, a situation organic growers may face in two years. The results can be helpful to any grower managing fire blight. Topics include fire blight biology, a new orchard monitoring tool, existing and new products, and integrated control. View at

Sunrise Field Day, August 23

WSU held its 4th Annual Sunrise Field Day August 23, 2012 at the Sunrise Research Orchard, between East Wenatchee and Quincy (photos...)

Flaming Weeds to Organizing an International Research Symposium

Washington State University agricultural education major Amanda Mattingly never expected the variety of experiences waiting for her as she started an internship at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee this summer (more...)

Workshop on biological control in tree fruits

The WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center is offering a hands-on workshop on biological control in tree fruits. This workshop is free, but signup is required (find registration link below). Participants can receive pesticide recertification credits. Sessions will be held Friday, 28 February and Wednesday, 12 March 2014 in Wenatchee and Friday, 21 March 2014 in Prosser. This biocontrol workshop will consist of 2 modules; you can choose to participate in both modules or just in Module 1.

Module1: Understanding the basics of biological control and learning to recognize natural enemies in the orchard: discuss general principles and examples of biological control in orchards, review key natural enemy groups and features used for their identification, and practice insect identification skills.
Module 2: Applying new biocontrol information: monitoring, models, and pesticide effects on natural enemies: learn about new and traditional ways to monitor for natural enemies, explore how knowledge about natural enemy phenology helps in pest management, understand how pesticides affect natural enemies, apply new information in a practical exercise


WSU-TFREC loses friend

We all lost a friend when Frank McNeal, an East Wenatchee grower, died on October 22. Mr. McNeal, who was 91, was a well known member of both the community and the industry. We are humbled and grateful his family announced donations could be made to WSU-TFREC in his memory.

Organic tree fruit trends

The most current statistics (2011) on organic tree fruit production in Washington State are now posted on line (, along with reports on the overall organic sector in the state. A comprehensive report on organic tree fruit with data from the past decade will be published later this spring.

AgTools Online Workshop forTree Fruits

AgTools™ Academy features an online workshop to explore the financial realities of orchard renewal strategies. The agenda includes a brief overview of the AgTools suite of software, benchmark production costs for three apple varieties, and the case study of Smith Apple Farms, where we present on a dilemma faced a family owned apple operation. The panel of lenders discuss what is required for a successful loan and how they see the situation of Smith Apple Farms.

To access this workshop go to:

WA growers invest $27 million in WSU

Apple and pear growers throughout the state have agreed to make a historic investment of $27 million over the next eight years to support tree fruit research and extension at Washington State University. It is the largest single gift in the university’s history (more...)

Sunrise Field Day 2011 on Facebook

Please check out our Facebook photo album from the Sunrise Field Day 2011 we held on August 16. Our guests included WSU President Elson Floyd and CAHNRS Dean Dan Bernardo.

Job opening for Finance/Budget Manager at TFREC

Finance/Budget Manager, WSU Wenatchee TFREC, (Administrative Professional, Full-time) Required: Bachelor’s degree in Bus. Admin, Acctg. or related field and 4 years of experience directly related to duties and responsibilities specified. Any combination of ed. & exp may be substituted for the educations requirement on a year-for-year basis. Proficiency with Microsoft products, experience administering budgets and supervising staff. Screening begins July 16, 2013.

To apply visit: Questions directed to Darla Ewald, 509-663-8181 x250, EEO/AA/ADA

World class pomologist to add expertise to TFREC

Stefano Musacchi will occupy the endowed chair in tree fruit physiology/management at WSU-TFREC. Coming in August 2013 from the University of Bologna, Dr. Musacchi will bring his expertise in orchard systems, fruit physiology, and grafting biochemistry. He already has extensive experience with the Pacific Northwest from numerous visits, and looks forward to helping growers continue to move forward in the 21st century.

As part of Campaign WSU, the endowed chair is the result of an historic partnership between the apple and pear growers and WSU. (more...)

Enhancing biological control team adds educator

Dr. Angela Gadino joins the Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards team from Oregon State University as education and outreach coordinator for the multi-state project. Her research at OSU focused on the biological control of mites in vineyards using ecologically based strategies and innovatative technologies. We welcome her as she brings her experience working with the Oregon wine industry to tree fruit growers. Dr. Gadino will be working with the programs of both Dr. Jay Brunner and Dr. Vince Jones.

First 2011 Spotted Wing Drosophila

We have the first 2011 captures of SWD in eastern WA. We are recommending that growers in this region begin crop protection sprays when their cherries reach a susceptible stage (blush).

The WSU recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila control in eastern Washington cherries are now available. We will be deploying traps throughout April, and will send out alerts for each region’s first catch of SWD this spring, as well as posting them on the SWD website. Western WA small fruit growers can find specific information on the Mt. Vernon web site.

Note: the SLN (Special Local Needs, or 24(c)) for spotted wing drosophila control with Entrust was updated June 28, 2011.

Entomologist joins Ecology and Behavior Lab

WSU-TFREC welcomes Dr. Andrea Bixby-Brosi to our Tree Fruit Entomology Program. Andrea comes to us from the University of Kentucky at Lexington where she developed expertise in multitrophic interactions involving arthropods, plants and beneficial insects. She is joining the Insect Ecology and Behavior Laboratory overseen by Dr. Vince Jones where she will be engaged in research and outreach involving conservation of natural enemies for orchard biological control, as well as work with attractants and monitoring of natural enemy colonization into orchards.

PMTP newsletter begin 4th year

The Pest Management Transition Project's newsletter is entering it's fourth year with details in the current issue on the further phaseout of azinphos-methyl, or Guthion. The newsletter has become a valuable tool to growers looking to reduce their use of organophosphates and other less environmentally friendly materials (more)

Helicopter scooping water out of the irrigation canal behind TFREC on Sep 12 to dump on the Canyons Fire


WSU opens two faculty positions at TFREC

Washington State University is filling two positions at TFREC at the rank of assistant or associate professor to develop nationally and internationally recognised programs:

  1. fruit tree pathology for the development and adoption of effective approaches for management of pre- and post-harvest diseases of tree fruits grown in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest (more...)
  2. tree fruit physiology for the development and conduct of basic and applied research in the general area of physiology of tree fruits in collaboration with the tree fruit research and extension team (more...)


Kupferman, Apple Citizen of Year

Congratulations to Gene Kupferman, recently retired WSU horticulturist, who was named Apple Citizen of the Year by the 2011 Washington Apple Blossom Festival. Gene earned this honor by providing three decades of leadership in understanding the postharvest management of tree fruits.

WSU introduces 'WA 5', a new apple

Bright, attractive, crisp, and juicy with a good sugar/acid balance describes the latest release from the WSU Apple Breeding Project. Growers can now apply for evaluation trees to be available spring 2011. (more)

Welcome our new molecular biologist

WSU-TFREC welcomes Dr. Rosa Caiazzo to our Plant Pathology program. Dr. Caiazzo comes from the facilities of the Italian Agricultural Research Council at Scafati where she developed an expertise in the molecular genetics of fungi.

Job opening: Data Architect/Database Administrator

Position located at WSU-TFREC, Wenatchee; responsible for developing, updating, and maintaining dynamic web sites based on MySQL databases. The successful candidate will function as a part of a team developing and advancing the WSU Decision Aid System ( WSU DAS is a cutting-edge decision support system that provides time-sensitive and location-specific pest management information to tree fruit growers, managers, and consultants in Washington State.

Screening begins June 14, 2013. To apply visit:

Additional 2012 detections of Spotted Wing Drosophila

Wednesday, August 29: SWD in Oroville region. A trap from the Oroville region was found to contain SWD today. Visit the SWD website for information on this damaging pest.

Dr. Stefano Musacchi candidate for Endowed Chair

Dr. Stefano Musacchi is a candidate for the Endowed Chair – Tree Fruit Physiology position. Dr. Musacchi will be presenting seminars in Pullman, Prosser IAREC, and Wenatchee TFREC. His seminar is entitled: The European Orchard Renaissance: Results of Italian Innovations in High Density and Fruit Quality Optimization, and Implications for the Pacific Northwest Fruit Industries, which will be presented in Wenatchee on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. in the Large Conference Room of the Overley Lab Building.

World peach expert candidate for WSU Extension Tree Fruit Leader

Dr. Desmond Layne, a world known expert on peaches and pawpaws, is a candidate for the WSU Extension Tree Fruit Leader position. His accomplishments include Everything About Peaches, a top website for peach information.

Dr. Layne's interview will begin at WSU-TFREC on August 14 where he will talk on "Extension Tree Fruit Leadership: A Vision and Goals for the Future" at 2:00 p.m. in the Large Conference Room of the Overley Building. He will also visit IAREC Prosser on August 15 where his seminar, "Development of an Extension and Applied Tree Fruit Research Program," begins 2:00 p.m. in the Ag Tech Building.

Dr. Layne’s CV , letter of application, and vision statement are available for downloading.

Sunrise Field Day, August 23

WSU's 4th Annual Sunrise Field Day August 23, 2012 at the Sunrise Research Orchard (between East Wenatchee and Quincy; pdf with program summary and directions). New this year, hands-on workshops featuring pest biocontrol and  new herbicides begins at 4 pm with main field day activities at 5 pm and dinner to follow. Please RSVP (add'l info...)

WSU announces two new faculty positions

WSU is seeking persons to fill faculty positions of (1) Endowed Chair – Tree Fruit Whole Plant Physiology and Production Systems and (2) Extension Tree Fruit Program Leader. The Physiology position is located at the Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center in Wenatchee; the Extension Leader in either Wenatchee or Prosser, WA. Descriptions may be downloaded: Plant Physiology; and Extension Leader.

Field Day 2010 scrapbook

We've assembled a few of the highlights from the 2010 Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day held July 29 into an online scrapbook (and the TFREC Facebook page)

Pest Management Transition 2010 Handbook

The PMTP Handbook underwent a major update. The new edition added new pages including an explanation of Degree Days, more pest monitoring, updated web resources (indluding DAS 4.0), as well as changes to pages containing references to the Codling Moth model to reflect the no-biofix model. And, a Spanish edition of the Handbook is now available (more...)

Community Education Garden dedication

The Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners dedicated the new Community Education Garden to the communities of Chelan and Douglas Counties on Thursday, May 20, 2010. This project is located at the Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center (more...)


Orchard Pest Management on web

OPM: a Resource for the Pacific Northwest is now available on the web. This valuable reference for anyone concerned with tree fruit arthropod pests includes 98 species and other accounts and a new gallery of over 900 photographs. Go to OPM...

Impact: the value of research & extension

Washington State University's Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center is well situated to meet the immediate and future needs of Washington's fruit industry. More...

Update on industry investment in technology

"Working with the research scientists and working with the growers (to) bridge the gap so that research results can be put in the hands of the growers so they can use it," so describes WSU's Dr. Desmond Layne, first hire (Feb 2013) in the Tree Fruit Campaign and Tree Fruit endowment. Endowed research chairs, information and technology transfer and research orchard operations are the three priorities funded by fruit grower self-assessments approved in 2011 and 2013.

Dr. Layne provided a recent update on the fund's use to Lake Chelan Mirror reporter Matt Baide available on pdf at

Organic Fruit 2012: From Research to Practice

Announcing the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium, 2012 June 18-21, Leavenworth, Washington; examine and discuss crop production, plant protection, genetics, soils and nutrition, post-harvest, markets, policy, and economics, and the impacts of organic fruit on the environment and people (more...)

Spotted Wing Drosophila counts down in 2011

WSU entomologists report much lower numbers of Spotted Wing Drosophila in 2011 than found in 2010. However, the fly will continue to be a pest in Washington orchards, and both growers and home owners should prepare to be vigilant in 2012. (More at the SWD web site...)

Spotted Wing Drosophila counts down in 2011

WSU entomologists report much lower numbers of Spotted Wing Drosophila in 2011 than found in 2010. However, the fly will continue to be a pest in Washington orchards, and both growers and home owners should prepare to be vigilant in 2012. (More at the SWD web site...)

AgProfit™ for Technology Assessment: Wenatchee, WA

March 9th, 2011(9:00 AM-1:00 PM)
This workshop will be held at WSU-TFREC, located at 1100 N. Western Ave, in Wenatchee. Participation will be FREE and limited to the first 25 who register. We can provide computers for the first 12 participants that request them, other participants must bring their own. This workshop is funded by NIFA-Specialty Crops Research Initiative through the Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC) project. Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Early registration is encouraged. (more...)

Plant pathologist recognised

Congratulations to Gary Grove, who will receive the American Phytopathological Society Excellence in Extension Award during the annual meeting of the APS in August. Grove, who has statewide extension responsibilities for grapes, hops and stone fruits, is an internationally recognized leader in the development of cutting-edge information delivery. He was integral in putting WSU-TFREC as one of the first fruit sites on the web in 1994. (more...)

Pear Postharvest Meeting

Over 90 persons participated in the WSU Fruit School and Pear Bureau Educational Seminar held on February 17, 2010 in Yakima, Washington. Sessions included “Disease and Disorder Controls” and “Conditioning Pears to Increase Consumption and Profitability.” Related links are available from the Postharvest Information Web site (more...)

New employees

WSU-TFREC wishes you to welcome three new employees: Ute Chambers, Manager and Educator for DAS; Yanni Yin, Visiting Scientist with the Postharvest Pathology program; and Lisa Brutcher, Scientific Asst. in the Apple Breeding program.

Awesome Apple Adventures 2009 was a great success!

This year on Sep. 23 & 24 we hosted 32 second grade classes from the Wenatchee and Eastmont School districts, as well as St. Joe's and St. Paul's (approximately 800 kids, and 125+ adults). This learning opportunity in an outdoor classroom included stations manned by WSU, USDA, and the Wenatchee School District.

photo gallery...

Sunrise Field Day previews future

Attendees at the First Annual Field Day for the new WSU Sunrise Research Orchard on July 22 received a preview of the future for the tree fruit industry.

What they saw are new apple varieties, improved methods for pest control, and robtic orchard equipment. This was also an opportunity for WSU to show returns on the investment for the new research orchard located halfway between Wenatchee and Quincy.

More at WSU Today...

Sunrise Orchard Field Day, July 29

Mark the 2nd Annual Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day (located between East Wenatchee and Quincy) on July 29, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to interact with WSU tree fruit researchers, Extension faculty, and specialists from other institutions. Planned topics range from mechanized blossom thinning and weed seeker technologies to a natural fumigant replant disease trial (leaflet with directions; pdf or web page)

Collared-dove invasion not a threat to fruit

Only recently has the Eurasian Collared-dove become a common sight in north-central Washington. However, preliminary assessments of the bird's impact on agriculture in the United States indicate that these birds may not prove a threat (more)

Spotted Wing Drosophila A New Fruit Pest

Update: new article in Orchard Pest Management

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a new pest of fruit in the US. It was first found in California in 2008, and has since been found in Washington and Oregon. Known host include caneberries, blueberries, and other small fruits; among tree fruits, stone fruits (cherries, nectarines, plums) are also attacked.. More work needs to be done to determine the host status of grapes, apples and pears. This pest is different from the common “vinegar fly” or “fruit fly”, Drosophila melanogaster, in that it can attack healthy, undamaged, ripening fruit. For more information, visit (WSU press release)

Spotted Wing Drosophila A New Fruit Pest

Update: new article in Orchard Pest Management

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a new pest of fruit in the US. It was first found in California in 2008, and has since been found in Washington and Oregon. Known host include caneberries, blueberries, and other small fruits; among tree fruits, stone fruits (cherries, nectarines, plums) are also attacked.. More work needs to be done to determine the host status of grapes, apples and pears. This pest is different from the common “vinegar fly” or “fruit fly”, Drosophila melanogaster, in that it can attack healthy, undamaged, ripening fruit. For more information, visit (WSU press release)

El Nino conditions dimishing

NOAA-National Weather Service is reporting that the end of El Niño and predicting the development of a La Nina conditions this summer. Growers and other affected agricultural interests should be prepared for more typical growing conditions this summer followed by cooler than normal weather thsi fall. Links to various NWS forecasts are available on the TFREC Climate Prediction page.

Irrigators will also be interested in the new gridded evapotranspiration forecast from the Spokane National Weather Service office.

Apple sunburn model available for testing

Dr. Larry Schrader, TFREC Horticulturist, released for the web an empirical model predicting apple sunburn. The model allows users to test online different combinations of factors leading to sunburn of apples. Predictions from this model using NOAA forecats are generated for DAS users. However, at this time growers should not use it for actual orchard management.  (more...)

Awesome Apple (and insect and worm) Adventures!

See the video; thanks Wenatchee World! Second-graders from Wenatchee area schools visited the Research & Extension Center on September 22 and 23.

Join us in congratulating

Dr. Eugene Kupferman received the Silver Pear Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting this week. This is a well deserved award recognizing the contributions of Dr. Kupferman over a long and distinguished career.

David Granatstein received the first ever Organic Industry Service Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting this week. A well deserved recognition for his contributions to this industry over many years.

Mark August 16 for Sunrise Field Day

WSU-TFREC will be holding the 3rd Annual Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day on August 16, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (BBQ to follow). This is an opportunity to interact with WSU researchers and Extension faculty plus researchers from other institutions on a variety of topics such as mechanized blossom thinning, new biological control technology and automated insect traps. Please download the announcement (pdf) for more information.

September 23rd - Orchard Automation Field Day

WSU's Sunrise Research Orchard will be the site on September 23 of a field day for comprehensive automation for specialty crops (CASC), an USDA funded research initiative. (more...pdf)

Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave, Washington State University, Wenatchee WA 98801, 509-663-8181, Contact Us